Great Sacred Masterpieces

Release Date: 4/24/2012
Label: Naxos
Catalog Number: 8501062
Number of Discs: 10

Physical Format:

CD
In Stock
$69.99
Notes and Editorial Reviews
GREAT SACRED MASTERPIECES (10-CD Box Set)

Music has always had an important part to play in religious ritual. Records show that plainchant existed from as early as 3 AD, and centuries later it was to provide a foundation for early polyphony and for the great flowering of church music in the Renaissance, including the transcendent works of Tallis and Allegri. JS Bach wrote most of his music for the Lutheran church, including the magnificent Mass in B Minor and the two Passions. Handel also contributed to religious music in England, with the creation of oratorios such as Messiah which, when witnessed by Haydn years later, inspired him to write The Creation. In the nineteenth century the form flowered again with Felix Mendelssohn, himself responsible for bringing many sacred works by JS Bach back to musical prominence. He completed Elijah in 1846; a work that, although modeled on the Handelian oratorio, clearly reflected in its lyricism and use of orchestral and choral colour Mendelssohn’s own genius as an early-Romantic composer. Particular attention has been given over the years to settings of the Requiem Mass. This collection includes three versions—from contemplative Mozart, to awesome Verdi, and sublime Fauré. Without doubt, in the years to come, religion will continue to be the driving inspirational force behind many a composition.

Reviews:

Tallis: Spem in alium
"Any performance of this huge work should be a celebration...This present reading is a memorable one. It's very difficult to convey the sweep and majesty of Tallis's extraordinary conception through a pair of loudspeakers but Summerly and his expanded forces make a pretty good job of doing so. For the recording the choirs were laid out in a cruciform arrangement and one can get some sense of the spatial separation from the conventional stereo format in which I listened. I should imagine, however, that the SACD version is much more impressive. Again, as elsewhere in the programme, I admire the clarity that Summerly brings to the proceedings. It's a challenge to avoid making a performance of Spem in alium no more than a wash of sound. Despite the inherent difficulties this is very much better than that and a satisfying amount of detail emerges. As elsewhere on this disc the control of dynamics is well done and when the louder passages occur the singing is thrillingly full-throated. This is a very satisfying disc, which I enjoyed greatly."

-- John Quinn, MusicWeb International [9/2005]

Fauré: Requiem
"The Naxos version makes an excellent bargain choice for the The fresh, forward choral tone goes with a direct, unmannered interpretation from Jeremy Summerly, with soloists comparably fresh-toned and English-sounding. The cantique de Jean Racine is most winningly done."

-- Penguin Guide to Compact Discs & DVDs [2003/4 Edition]

Bach: Mass in B minor
"This is an excellent, absolutely world-class recording of Bach's B minor Mass. Anyone familiar with the work of the Dresden Chamber Choir knows that it is one of the best around, and it sings with both precision and fervor. Helmut Müller-Brühl uses modern instruments but with a thorough knowledge of period practice. The celebratory choruses, such as the opening of the Gloria, the Credo's Et expecto resurrectionem, and the Sanctus, really dance with joy. Orchestral and vocal textures are immaculately clear. The trumpets and timpani have all of the necessary impact without a hint of shrillness, and even the flutes have a natural presence, lightly coloring Bach's instrumental palette."

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com

Bach: Saint Matthew Passion
"Naxos's use of 'conventional' forces for this performance of Bach's great Passion belies a sensitivity to scale and nuance which is unquestionably modern day. Géza Oberfrank comes, however, from a mainstream tradition of Central European opera conductors (he was Principal Conductor of the Komische Oper in Berlin) and one senses from the beautifully paced opening chorus that this experience with large-scale forms will be a significant factor. Indeed, this proves to be the case though some may find his free-rolling approach—where one number follows briskly onwards without calculated rhetorical breaks—a touch breathless. Certainly in Part One, Oberfrank can seem rather too efficient at times with his light but slightly wooden articulations. Having said that, there is far more to admire than gripe about: his choice of tempos for arias is so natural that I cannot remember having found the difficult sequence from "Buss und Reu"to "0 Schmerz!" in Part One so spontaneous and refreshing. There is little self-indulgence in the expression of either József Mukk (Evangelist) or István Gáti (Christus), who identify with Oberfrank's surprisingly austere view of the drama. The former is clear-toned, carrying the story with a detached dignity. Of the 'desert island' arias (which one isn't?), Judit Németh's "Erbarme dich" is strikingly rich with an obbligato violin which shimmers appealingly."

-- Gramophone [8/1994]
Works on This Recording
1. Spem in alium by Thomas Tallis
Conductor: Jeremy Summerly
Period: Renaissance
Written: after 1559 ; England
2. Miserere mei Deus: Miserere mei by Gregorio Allegri
Conductor: Jeremy Summerly
Period: Baroque
Written: 17th Century ; Italy
Performer: Julia Faulkner (Soprano), Anna Gonda (Alto)
Conductor: Michael Halász
Orchestra/Ensemble: Camerata Budapest
Period: Baroque
Written: 1736 ; Pozzuoli, Italy
4. Ave verum corpus in D major, K 618: Ave verum corpus by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Johannes Wildner
Period: Classical
Written: 1791 ; Austria
5. Requiem, Op. 48 by Gabriel Fauré
Performer: Nicholas Gedge (Baritone), Lisa Beckley (Soprano), Colm Carey (Organ)
Conductor: Jeremy Summerly
Period: Romantic
Written: 1887-1890 ; France
6. Messe basse by Gabriel Fauré
Conductor: Jeremy Summerly
Period: Romantic
Written: 1882/1906 ; France
7. Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11 by Gabriel Fauré
Conductor: Jeremy Summerly
Period: Romantic
Written: 1865 ; France
8. Tantum ergo by Déodat de Sévérac
Conductor: Jeremy Summerly
Period: 20th Century
Written: by 1920 ; France
9. Ave Maria by Charles Gounod
Performer: Ingrid Kertesi (Soprano)
Conductor: László Kovács
Orchestra/Ensemble: Camerata Budapest
Period: Romantic
Written: 1859 ; France
10. Panis angelicus by César Franck
Performer: József Mukk (Tenor)
Conductor: László Kovács
Period: Romantic
Written: 1872 ; France
11. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Sanctus by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Sunhae Im (Soprano), Ann Hallenberg (Mezzo Soprano), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (Bass Baritone), Marianne Beate Kielland (Mezzo Soprano), Markus Schäfer (Tenor)
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
12. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Qui sedes by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
13. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Kyrie eleison by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
14. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Gloria by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
15. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et resurrexit by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
16. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et in unum Dominum by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
17. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Et in terra pax by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
18. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Dominus Deus by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
19. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Cum sancto spiritu by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
20. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Crucifixus by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
21. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Credo by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
22. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Christe eleison by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
23. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Benedictus by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
24. Mass in B minor, BWV 232: Agnus Dei by Johann Sebastian Bach
Period: Baroque
Written: 1747-1749 ; Leipzig, Germany
25. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 1, Kommt, ihr Töchter by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
26. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 10, Buss' und reu' by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Judit Németh (Alto)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
27. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 12, Blute nur by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Ibolya Verebics (Soprano)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
28. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 19, Ich will dir mein Herze schenken by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Ibolya Verebics (Soprano)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
29. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 26, Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: József Mukk (Tenor)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
30. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 29, Gerne will ich mich bequemen by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Peter Köves (Bass)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
31. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 33, So ist mein Jesus by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Ibolya Verebics (Soprano), Judit Németh (Alto)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
32. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 35, O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
33. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 47, Erbarme dich by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Judit Németh (Alto)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
34. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 51, Gebt mir meinen Jesum wieder! by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Peter Köves (Bass)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
35. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 61, Können Thränen meiner Wangen by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Judit Németh (Alto)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
36. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 63, O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
37. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 75, Mache dich, mein Herze by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performer: Peter Köves (Bass)
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
38. Saint Matthew Passion, BWV 244: no 78, Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder by Johann Sebastian Bach
Conductor: Géza Oberfrank
Period: Baroque
Written: ?1727 ; Leipzig, Germany
39. Messiah, HWV 56: Why do the nations so furiously rage by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
40. Messiah, HWV 56: Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
41. Messiah, HWV 56: Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
42. Messiah, HWV 56: I know that my redeemer liveth by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
43. Messiah, HWV 56: How beautiful are the feet of them by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
44. Messiah, HWV 56: He was despised and rejected by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
45. Messiah, HWV 56: Behold, I tell you a mystery by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
46. Messiah, HWV 56: Behold a Virgin shall conceive by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
47. Messiah, HWV 56: Worthy is the Lamb that was slain by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
48. Messiah, HWV 56: Hallelujah! by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
49. Messiah, HWV 56: For unto us a child is born by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
50. Messiah, HWV 56: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
51. Messiah, HWV 56: Pastoral Symphony "Pifa" by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
52. The Creation, H 21 no 2: The marv'lous work beholds amazed by Franz Joseph Haydn
Performer: Sunhae Im (Soprano), Hanno Müller-Brachmann (Bass Baritone), Jan Kobow (Tenor)
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
53. The Creation, H 21 no 2: The heavens are telling by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
54. The Creation, H 21 no 2: Sing to the Lord, all ye voices by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
55. The Creation, H 21 no 2: By thy goodness, O bounteous Lord by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
56. The Creation, H 21 no 2: Rolling in foaming billows by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
57. The Creation, H 21 no 2: On mighty wings by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
58. The Creation, H 21 no 2: O happy pair, and ever happy henceforth by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
59. The Creation, H 21 no 2: Now vanish before the holy beams by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
60. The Creation, H 21 no 2: Now heaven in fullest glory shone by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
61. The Creation, H 21 no 2: Most beautiful appear by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
62. The Creation, H 21 no 2: In native worth by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
63. The Creation, H 21 no 2: And God saw every thing he had made by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
64. The Creation, H 21 no 2: And God said... With verdure by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
65. The Creation, H 21 no 2: And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of heaven by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
66. The Creation, H 21 no 2: And God said, let the waters bring forth by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
67. The Creation, H 21 no 2: And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
68. The Creation, H 21 no 2: And God said, let the earth bring forth grass by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
69. The Creation, H 21 no 2: Representation of chaos by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
70. The Creation, H 21 no 2: Our first duty we have now performed by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor: Andreas Spering
Period: Classical
Written: 1796-1798 ; Vienna, Austria
71. Requiem in D minor, K 626 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Conductor: Zdenek Kosler
Period: Classical
Written: 1791 ; Vienna, Austria
72. Missa solemnis in D major, Op. 123 by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performer: James [tenor] Taylor (Tenor), Mary Kathryn Van Osdale (Violin), Lori Phillips (Soprano), Jay Baylon (Bass Baritone), Robynne Redmon (Mezzo Soprano)
Period: Classical
Written: 1823 ; Vienna, Austria
73. Requiem Mass: Tuba mirum by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer: César Hernández (Tenor), Elena Filipova (Soprano), Gloria Scalchi (Mezzo Soprano), Carlo Colombara (Bass)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
74. Requiem Mass: Sanctus by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
75. Requiem Mass: Requiem aeternam by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
76. Requiem Mass: Recordare by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
77. Requiem Mass: Lux aeterna by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
78. Requiem Mass: Lacrymosa by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
79. Requiem Mass: Kyrie by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
80. Requiem Mass: Libera me, Domine by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
81. Requiem Mass: Agnus Dei by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
82. Requiem Mass: Hostias et preces tibi by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
83. Requiem Mass: Domine Jesu by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
84. Requiem Mass: Rex tremendae majestatis by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
85. Requiem Mass: Liber scriptus proferetur by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
86. Requiem Mass: Ingemisco by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
87. Requiem Mass: Dies irae by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
88. Requiem Mass: Confutatis maledictis by Giuseppe Verdi
Period: Romantic
Written: 1874 ; Italy
89. Elijah, Op. 70: Lord God of Abraham by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
90. Elijah, Op. 70: Lift thine eyes to the mountains by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
91. Elijah, Op. 70: It is enough by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
92. Elijah, Op. 70: Introduction "As God the lord of Israel liveth" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
93. Elijah, Op. 70: Hear ye, Israel by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
94. Elijah, Op. 70: Excerpt(s) by Felix Mendelssohn
Performer: Ralf Lukas (Bass), Ruth Ziesak (Soprano), Christoph Genz (Tenor), Claudia Mahnke (Mezzo Soprano)
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
95. Elijah, Op. 70: Arise, Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
96. Elijah, Op. 70: See, now he sleepeth by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
97. Elijah, Op. 70: Is not His word like a fire? by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
98. Pièces de fantaisie - Suite no 1, Op. 51: 2nd movement, Andantino by Louis Vierne
Performer: Colm Carey (Organ)
Period: Romantic
Written: 1926 ; France
99. Messiah, HWV 56: Why do the nations so furiously rage by George Frideric Handel
Period: Baroque
Written: 1742 ; London, England
100. Elijah, Op. 70: Introduction "As God the lord of Israel liveth" by Felix Mendelssohn
Conductor: Jun Märkl
Period: Romantic
Written: 1846-1847 ; Germany
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